CoVenture invests in early stage startups and builds software in exchange for equity. We look for great founders, solving important problems.
At CoVenture we invest in pre-seed startups led by founders who hold strong operational and domain expertise. These founders are tackling industries they understand well, and are solving problems often outside of the Silicon Valley echo-chamber. We invest by building software in exchange for equity in our portfolio companies, and investing cash on a case-by-case basis.
Since launching roughly 1.5 years ago we have helped our companies execute over 10 financing rounds, do close to $10mm in revenue and reach an aggregate of ~50 employees.
We're a bit of both. We have a large team of engineers capable of building out a variety of new technologies, but are definitely investing our services in the success of our portfolio entrepreneurs. We help our companies reach a point where they can prove a market-fit without sacrificing cash-flows.
A few reasons: The first is that the interests of the entrepreneur and the development firm aren't aligned. The dev. firm wants to get many hours of work - not build you a great company. We work in a way that is most effective for you. We also provide technical advisory, biz dev. help and a network of investors and entrepreneurs we tap you into when the time is right.
We want to find people who rock at what they do - and are starting a new tech company in a field they know very well. The best way to reach us is applying through our site, or contacting us at email@example.com
We partner with awesome entrepreneurs and help them build great companies.
Savneet Singh was an investment analyst at Chilton Investment Company, where he covered investments in the technology, alternative energy and infrastructure space.
Prior to Chilton, Mr. Singh was at Morgan Stanley in the investment banking division, where he worked on large financial sponsor and strategic company transactions. Mr. Singh received his B.S. in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University, and currently serves on the boards of Ecologic Solutions and Stiki Digital.
Savneet was recently named to the Forbes "30 Under 30" list, in addition to the Empact 100 list of top 100 Entrepreneurs under 30.
Mr. Beller has led start-up, turnaround, and high growth organizations as a COO, CIO, and consultant. This experience has involved developing business technology and operating strategies combined with "in the trenches" execution and leadership.
Mr. Beller was recently featured in a cover story in Retail Information Systems News magazine for IT's role in business strategy, listed #4 in Apparel Magazine's list of Top 50 Innovators, nominated for ComputerWorld magazine's list of Premier 100 IT Leaders, and won the Smart Enterprise magazine award for Outstanding Achievement in Enterprise IT Management.
Mr. Beller has held various senior executive and consulting positions including CIO and EVP of Strategy Management for a national specialty retailer, Chief Operating Officer for a pharmaceutical packaging and distribution company, and COO and CIO for a venture backed technology re-manufacturing and e-commerce start-up.
Mr. Beller has also held senior positions with consulting firms that included Accenture, Technology Solutions Company, and Diamond Management and Technology Consultants. At Diamond, Mr. Beller was a founding partner and helped lead the company through a successful IPO.
Mr. Beller received a Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from the Cornell University College of Engineering.
Born with the gift of gab, raised with an overdeveloped self esteem, Andy Ellwood has found the greatest joy in his career working with Good People and executing a common vision. He's currently pushing the envelope and bringing world class hustle to his role as Chief Strategy Officer of Goodpenny.
A native of Dallas, TX, he attended Texas A&M and received his degree in Corporate Finance. After achieving national recognition for his work at Northwestern Mutual, Andy spent a number of years in luxury travel sales and excelled as Vice President of Sales for Marquis Jet. Most recently, Andy led Business Development for Gowalla which was acquired by Facebook in December of 2011.
Dylan Reid is co-founder of Matter.io, where he's working on a new way to edit and share 3D models in the browser. Before that, he served as Director of Business Development for Startup Chile, and as a researcher at the Kauffman Foundation. He got his B.F.A. at Cornell, where he co-founded the POPSHOP!
Teddy Brinkofski is the founder of Hulkshare, one of the largest filesharing websites in the world. Teddy's company helped find and discover Grammy-winning artists, and has helped change the way the music industry thinks about doing business. At Cornell, Teddy was on the varsity track team, and served as co-founder of Life Changing Labs, an educational summer program that helped train engineers in entrepreneurship. Teddy is also an active angel investor and the founder of Yado Media.
Shivon Zilis is an investor at Bloomberg Beta where she focuses on backing capital efficient companies that "change the world of work." Before that she was named Chief Adventurer of Bloomberg Ventures and spent time at IBM. Before Bloomberg Shivon spent time at IBM, where she held roles as a senior strategy consultant, and thought leadership analyst.
Shivon holds a degree from Yale and serves on the board of Global Community Charter School.
Khurram is an entrepreneur by heart and has learnt it by establishing Kualitatem and heading its marketing and sales expansion over the years. He love solving complex problems and is backed up by plenty of experience in the field of software testing and software quality.
He is passionate about promoting independent testing as a mandatory step in a development lifecycle keeping in view the known problems and dilemmas faced by founders, development and testing teams. Lately he is involved primarily in understanding client pains, educating clients and advising them with a right testing solutions to evolve a quality product.
His interests include startups and promoting entrepreneurship through his writings and guest lectures. Khurram holds an engineering background in computers coupled with an MBA. He is an avid traveller and mountaineer.
Jeremy Blum is well known within the international open source and "maker" communities for his development of open source hardware projects and tutorials that have been featured on the Discovery Channel and have won several awards and hack-a-thons. Jeremy was selected as the 2012 "New Face of Engineering", he offers engineering consulting services through his firm, Blum Idea Labs LLC, and he teaches engineering and sustainability to young students in New York City. He works for MakerBot Industries designing 3D printers, has built robots that can assemble themselves, and he produces Youtube videos that have introduced millions of people to engineering. Jeremy's passion is improving people's lives and our planet through creative engineering solutions. Jeremy graduated from Cornell in May 2012 with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering; he is currently pursuing his Master's degree at Cornell in the same field. Jeremy co-founded Cornell University Sustainable Design and the PopShop co-working space, beacons of sustainability and entrepreneurship both on and off campus. You can learn more about Jeremyand his work at his website: http://www.jeremyblum.com
Rohit Gupta is an associate at High Line Ventures, an early stage investment fund based in New York City. Before his current gig he served as an associate at RBS Global Banking where he worked with innovative cross asset solutions covering exotic derivate across interest rates, inflation, foreign exchange, equities and hybrids. He also served as an analyst at ABN AMRO upon graduating from Cornell University where he received a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Jeremy Guillory is a co-founder of 3 Day Startup, where he spearheaded the transformation of the organization from a zero-income non-profit into a revenue-generating startup. He helped develop two products: 3DS for incubators and 3DS for corporate events and helped scale the organization internationally while managing over 180 members. Before 3 Day Startup, Jeremy worked as an engineer at Cirrus Logic and as a manufacturing engineer for the US Air Force where he analyzed manufacturing and quality systems for a $200 billion weapon system acquisition. In college he built BattleBots for Comedy Central and today is the founder of High School Startup.
Mitchell Patterson is the managing director of Startup Labs where he partners with various venture capital firms and service providers to accelerate the growth of high-potential, entrepreneurial ventures. He serves as a relationship manager with CEO's of investment companies as well as investors and sponsors of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship portfolio programs. His investment programs focus on early stage companies that are based on IP Commercialization, early stage startups, and helping startups outsource c-level services.
He is also the managing director of the Emerging Business Portfolio for the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity. At CenterState Mitch also serves as the director of Business Expansion and before that was the Economic Development Coordinator of the Metropolitan Development Association.
Chris Shultz is a tech entrepreneur and angel investor living in San Francisco and New Orleans. As the founder of multiple tech companies, Chris has become a thought leader amongst entrepreneurial communities across the country. He is the founder of Voodoo Ventures, which is a platform to invest in companies and build products, and in 2009 he launched Launch Pad, a community that provides workspace, a mentor network and educational events to develop entrepreneurial talent in the New Orleans ecosystem. At Launch Pad Chris currently oversees the community's accelerator program.
Aaron Holiday is a venture capitalist, startup consultant, and former programmer. Aaron is a Kauffman Fellowship Finalist, works part-time for a local NYC venture capital firm, and has worked with over 30 startup companies on business model formation, access to capital, and growth strategies. Aaron has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Morehouse College, and an MBA from Cornell University. Aaron also spent 6 years on Wall Street building financial trading technology for Goldman Sachs and GFI Group.
Vinay Badami is BR Venture Fund's chief operating officer. His main investment interests include clean technology and life science startups. Vinay serves on the board of GNS Healthcare, a company focused on healthcare analytics.
Prior to BRV, Vinay worked for GreatPoint Ventures, focusing on seed-stage commercialization of new technologies in the clean-tech, biotech, and material science sectors. Vinay began his career as a consultant for SGH where he focused on evaluating emerging technologies and developing engineering solutions for architects. Prior to joining SGH, Vinay provided clean-tech and strategy consulting for a sustainable development in Hawaii.
Currently, Vinay is a Director of Main Street Partners, a non-profit consulting firm for struggling small businesses, and previously served on the Board of the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit dedicated to environmental and community sustainability. At Cornell, Vinay leads the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute's mentorship program for undergraduate engineering start-ups, and has been a guest lecturer at the College of Engineering. Vinay holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in energy systems from Cornell University.
Tim Novikoff is the CEO of Vantageous Inc. He recently completed work on his PhD in applied math at Cornell with a dissertation on algorithmic education theory. He is currently teaching a course on iPhone app development in Cornell's CS department. He is a published author on the subject of iPhone user-interface design, and his writing on the college experience has appeared on the New York Times Op-Ed page. Prior to Vantageous he was the founder of Flash of Genius LLC, a publisher of educational iPhone and Android apps. Prior to graduate school he taught math at Stuyvesant High School, where he was elected faculty graduation speaker by the Class of 2007. Before that he was a working actor in NYC, where he provided voices for MTV's Daria.
Scott Kaufman is a partner in the firm's (Wiggin and Dana LLP) Corporate Department. Mr. Kaufman is a member of the firm's Mergers and Acquisitions, Emerging Companies and Private Equity, Biotechnology and Life Sciences, and Securities and Capital Markets practice groups. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, private equity and strategic transactions, including venture capital financings, and public and private securities offerings. He is resident in the New York office.
Mr. Kaufman's clients include publicly traded and privately held companies, venture capital and hedge funds, investor groups, executives and entrepreneurs. These clients are in a number of industries, including Internet, biotech, clean technologies, telecommunications, retail and software.
Mr. Kaufman advises domestic and foreign clients on SEC and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and corporate governance matters, provides day-to-day corporate counseling to a number of his clients and has significant experience advising special committees in connection with related-party transactions as well as boards and audit committees in restatement issues and internal investigations. He also has worked on a range of transactions with Israeli hi-tech companies, entrepreneurs and venture capital firms.
Mr. Kaufman co-authored the chapter titled Forming a Board: Issues for Directors and Founders in the Practicing Law Institute publication Advising High-Technology Companies.
He received his J.D. with honors from Duke University School of Law and a B.A. with distinction from The University of Michigan. Mr. Kaufman is admitted to practice in New York.
CJ came to Highland as an intern in 2011 and joined the firm in 2012 as an Associate focused on technology investments across all stages of company growth.
Prior to Highland, CJ was a Summer Analyst with Morgan Stanley in their technology investment banking division in Menlo Park, and also interned with General Catalyst Venture Partners in Boston.
Previously, CJ was the co-founder and CEO of Applied Power Innovations, an energy services company focused on increasing the install velocity of green technologies. Under his leadership, Applied Power Innovations went from idea to shipping hardware in under 18 months and developed a securitization approach to financing renewable energy solutions.
CJ earned a B.S. in Management with concentrations in Finance and Information Systems from Boston College
Caitlin is an associate at Flybridge Capital Partners whose investment interests and experience broadly cover companies and technologies across the information technology sector including ad tech, digital media, fin tech, and consumer internet.
Background Caitlin joined the firm in August 2012 from LearnVest, a personal finance start-up in NYC, where she served as Director of Business Development. Previously, she was the Associate Director of Business Development at Behance, a platform for showcasing and discovering creative work online. Caitlin was also the President and Co-founder of Slope Media Group, a student-run media organization based out of Cornell University that includes internet radio, internet television and a digital magazine.
Caitlin holds a BA in History from Cornell University with a minor in Science and Technology Studies.
Outside of the office, Caitlin enjoys kite-boarding, traveling and playing guitar. At Cornell, she was a coxswain on the men's lightweight crew team and played women's club basketball. And she once rode an elephant in Laos!
Michael Sloan is a serial entrepreneur, having previously been named as an Ernst & Young entrepreneur of the year finalist, one of Fortune Magazine's "40 Under 40," and the CFO of Columbus Nova, a firm that today holds ~$16B under management. Before Columbus Nova, Michael served as co-founder of eLink, a telecom company that raised $100m in financing from backers such as the Mayfield Fund. Today, Michael serves as co-founder and CEO of Chloe's Soft Serve Fruit Co., which provides a healthy alternative to frozen yogurt made with just fruit, water and a touch of organic cane sugar. Michael holds a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University.
Ben Bryce is the founder and Managing Partner of Align Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in startups with technologies that ultimately enhance the consumer retail experience. Success is managed though active alignment with leading industry players. Prior to launching Align Ventures, Ben held senior executive marketing roles across fashion, fragrance, skincare and accessory brands at some of the world's largest luxury corporations including Christian Dior, Valentino and Estee Lauder Companies. In another life, Ben was an attorney practicing M&A for Australia's 3rd largest law firm. Ben holds a Masters in Business Administration, Bachelors degrees in Law and Business Systems (Computer Science), and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology.
John E. Alexander is the Founder of CBORD Group, Inc. He founded the firm in 1975 and served as its Chief Executive Officer and President. He built CBORD from a handful of part-time employees to a corporation employing more than 240 people and serving over 4,000 clients worldwide. He served as the Chairman of CBORD Group, Inc. until February 2008. He is a Member of Industry Advisory Network at Blue Heron Capital, LLC and focuses on Business Services at the firm. He also serves as Vice President and Director of the Hangar Theater. Mr. Alexander is probably best known for Coyote Loco, an innovative Mexican restaurant located just outside of Cornell's campus, started in partnership with three other business-minded Mexican food lovers. He serves on Cornell's board of trustees as well.
Jason Epstein has been a Senior Managing Partner of Columbus Nova since 2002. Prior to Columbus Nova, Jason co-founded eLink Communications and served as its Chief Executive Officer for three years. During his tenure, he raised over $100 million in equity and debt financing from leading venture capital firms. eLink was sold in 2002 to Eureka Networks, creating one of the largest BLEC's in the Mid-Atlantic and Tri-State area (the company was acquired by Broadview Networks in 2007). While at eLink, Jason was twice a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was named one of the "Forty Under 40 Rising Stars" by The Washington Post's annual Business Forward. Jason also serves as the Chairman of Harmonix.
David Nightingale is the President of Drum Hill Capital and the firm's primary advisor. David founded the firm in 1998 to help families better manage their complex financial lives. In addition to his leadership role at the firm, David serves as Chief Investment Officer and takes a hands-on approach to evaluating and choosing the investments that end up in clients' portfolios. Prior to founding Drum Hill Capital, David worked in a variety of roles in the financial services industry on the institutional side of the business. David received a B.A. in Government from Connecticut College, and an MBA in Finance from NYU's Stern School of Business. David is an avid reader of books on American history and a music lover who still hasn't quite given up on a career in music production.
Ahmad Jalal is Director at Abraaj Group, the alternative asset manager with US$7.5B in assets-under-management. At Abraaj, Ahmad's role included investing across GCC and the Levant and spearheading the creation of Pakistan Small Midcap Fund. He also worked for Abraaj's Jordan Growth Capital Fund in 2010.
Prior to that, he was an Executive Director with Goldman Sachs in London where he executed financial restructuring, capital raising transactions and structuring investments for the Principal Investments Area. He started his career as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen/Deloitte and worked with global private equity firms advising on acquisitions in the retail, hotels & leisure and oil & gas sectors.
Ahmed is the Founding Director of Pakistan Fast Growth 100, Advisory Board Member of Professor Michael Porter's AllWorld Network. He was the Opinions Editor of The Harvard Citizen and member of The International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Ahmad graduated in MPA / International Development from Harvard Kennedy School, BSc. Economics from the London School of Economics and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.
Justin Brown is a natural born entrepreneur, bringing value to people since the days of his childhood. His early life has influenced much of his thinking in business, having grown up on a vegetable farm in rural Massachusetts. Justin has a passion for building businesses, as well as leading and connecting people. With only a basic knowledge of the corporate world, Justin moved from sales to CEO and owner of FGX by age 25. FGX has abandoned the antiquated "hub-and-spoke" model of its competitors in favor of a direct shipping model that focuses on delivery speed, reliability and emissions. Justin brings a fresh outlook to business and believes the concepts of B2B and B2C are obsolete. Instead, he feels the best way forward is V2P, or "value-to-people." Businesses are simply made up of people: truly understand this and you are out front. Using his expertise Justin has launched two more shipping companies, Ares Logistics and ePost International. In the future, he plans to use his expertise to discover a better way for delivering aid to parts of the world in desperate need.
Eric Moen is currently an investor and sits on the board of a wine distributor in China. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Coast Feather Company from 2003 until his retirement in 2012. Prior to that, he served as Chief Operating Officer after joining Pacific Coast Feather as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 1989. He held financial management positions in the apparel industry and as an auditor in public accounting, after earning a bachelors degree from the University of Washington.
Kamal Hashmat is considered a pioneer in the world of Health IT. Mr. Hashmat founded CureMD in 1997 from NY and leading it with a mission to help doctors use the power of internet to practice without boundaries. Today, CureMD has become a global symbol of excellence in point-of-care technology with thousands of satisfied clients across US. CureMD is also ranked as the No. 1 Cloud Electronic Medical Records solution by KLAS Research. Kamal is passionate about saving lives through innovative healthcare technology; invests in new ideas and speaks on healthcare issues in America.
Before founding CureMD, Kamal worked for leading Health IT vendors, including WebMD (formerly known as Practice Management Systems), Emdeon (formerly known as Physician Computers Network) and AllScripts (formerly known as HealthMatics) in various management roles.
Mr. Hashmat has a Bachelors degree in Physics, an MBA in Strategic Management Planning and Masters in Management Information Systems.
Jamil's primary passion is experimenting with ideas and he found the best way to do it by co-founding CoVenture. Before CoVenture Jamil co-founded Kualitatem to bring an innovative platform to provide software quality assurance services to development companies and making software-testing an exciting career for software testers. Constantly innovating, Kualitatem has evolved on a global scale with presence in USA, Middle East and Pakistan while consulting in Information Security and Risk Assessment, Information Systems Auditing and Software Quality Assurance.
Prior to Kualitatem, Jamil was involved in speech technology based startup identifying languages from a speech signal, a social enterprise and an outsourcing company. He has also worked with several international development organizations in Australia and Pakistan with a focus on developing economically sustainable and entrepreneurial models and keenly share his experience on social entrepreneurship in academic settings. He is a Certified Information Systems Auditor with an academic background in information systems and software engineering.
Ali is a managing partner and co-founder of CoVenture. Ali has led investment deals for the firm, and helped portfolio companies raise over $5mm in financing and do close to $10mm in revenue in less than 2 years. Ali also serves as a mentor to Startup Labs and Launchpad.io, and is an advisor to multiple non-profits.
Before CoVenture Ali had done consulting for governments, international companies and domestic firms, and is a co-founder of the POPSHOP, a co-working space located just off Cornell University's campus.